The Supreme Court closed the door at least temporarily on President Trump’s effort to end protections for the hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants who came to the United States as children.
The high court again remained silent Tuesday on three related appeals of the president’s order, which aimed to shut the program down.
Unless the court breaks with its normal procedure, the nine justices would not be able to hear arguments and decide the case in its current term, which ends in June.
If they eventually agree to hear the matter, it most likely would be decided during their nine-month term that begins in October, meaning a ruling could come in the 2020 presidential election year.
The Justice Department has filed appeals concerning Trump’s September 2017 move, blocked by lower courts, to rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program implemented in 2012 by then-President Barack Obama.
DACA protects about 700,000 immigrants, called “Dreamers” based on the name of the Dream Act legislation that failed to pass Congress, from deportation and provides them work permits, although not a path to citizenship.
Most of the Dreamers are young adults from Mexico and Central and South America.
With the lower courts ruling against the administration and the high court not yet taking action, DACA will remain in place, at least for the immediate future.
After Tuesday, the high court is not in session for almost a month and the justices are not due to meet again privately to discuss action on pending appeals until Feb. 15.
Trump on Saturday proposed a deal to end the ongoing partial government shutdown that would include a three-year extension of DACA protections in return for congressional Democrats agreeing to allow $5.7 billion in funding to help pay for a wall along the Mexican border.
Democrats, who oppose the wall, rejected the offer.
Top Senate Democrat Chuck Schumer on Saturday noted that it was Trump who moved to rescind DACA and that the president’s offer of a temporary extension of some protections for the Dreamers in exchange for wall money was not a compromise but “more hostage-taking.”
The court’s inaction apparently lessened the value of Trump’s offer to extend protections for the Dreamers.
Dreamers such as Sheridan Aguirre had been facing an end of protection from deportation and permission to work in the United States in August, but now has some breathing room.
“I thought for me this was going to be my last go-around for the program. Thankfully, we have the extra cushion,” Aguirre, the Austin, Texas, field communications manager for United We Dream, an advocacy group for young immigrants without permanent legal status, told NBC News.
Aguirre said the court’s inaction allows more time to raise grant money for DACA recipients, who must pay a $495 renewal application fee.
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